Pedro Medelius waited patiently in his lab at Kennedy Space Center. He had just received word that a colleague was bringing over a cable from a Space Shuttle solid rocket booster to test Medelius new invention. Medelius was calm until his colleague arrived, with about 30 other people. "Talk about testing under pressure," says Medelius. "There were people there from the Navy, the Air Force, and the Federal Aviation Administration." After the group s arrival, Medelius took a deep breath and connected his Standing Wave Reflectometer (SWR) to the cable. He wiggled the cable around, and the display showed a fault (a short or open circuit in wire) about an inch and a half inside the connector on the cable. His colleague questioned the results, because he had already checked that area on the cable. Medelius used the SWR to check again but got the same result. "That is when we took the cable apart and looked inside," Medelius says. "Lo and behold, that was exactly where the fault was." The impetus for Medelius new wire inspection technology came about in 1999 when one of the space shuttles lost power due to a fault somewhere in its more than 200 miles of electrical wiring. "The backup circuit was activated and prevented a major dysfunction, but nevertheless, there was a problem with the wiring," Medelius describes. Even though technicians used a device called a multimeter to measure the electrical current to find which wire had a fault, it could not pinpoint exactly where on the wire the fault was located. For that, technicians had to visually inspect the wire. "Sometimes they would have to remove the whole wire assembly and visually inspect every single wire. It was a very tedious operation because the wires are behind cabinets. They go all over the place in the shuttle," says Medelius. "NASA needed an instrument capable of telling them exactly where the faults were occurring." To meet NASA s needs for a highly precise device to inspect electrical power bundles, wires, and connectors, Medelius devised the SWR. "It came down to what was affected when a wire is short circuited or opened," he says. "We worked out a few equations based on physical principles." The SWR proved very sensitive, and the technology was patented.